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How to write effective meeting invitation emails [examples + templates]

READ TIME: 9 MINUTES

Thad Thompson, May 06, 2022

The meeting invitation email is one of the most important items on your event prep to-do list. It gets your meeting onto people’s agendas and keeps it there, even with other demands on their time.

This article will help you to craft a successful meeting invitation email. Whether your event is a formal meeting or informal gathering, large or small, here's what you need to know to create an engaging invitation and boost response rates. (If you’re in a hurry, feel free to jump right to the meeting email examples and email templates.)

How to structure a meeting invitation email

First things first. Before you start writing the calendar invite, make sure you have something engaging where the recipient sees “Sender.”

Whenever possible, the email should come from you or another person, rather than your company or team. According to SuperOffice, over 45% of email recipients decide whether to read a message based on who sent it, and Pinpointe marketing research shows that a personal name gets more opens than a company name — 15% to 35% or more, to be specific. 

Once you’ve set up the sender account, you can get down to business.

Step 1: Create your subject line 

The SuperOffice survey also found that almost 34% of recipients open an email based on the subject line. Yours should be clear and concise, including only what’s necessary to introduce the meeting. For example:

  • “Important development team meeting”

  • “Project kickoff on Friday at noon”

  • “Meeting to welcome the new VP”

Email open rates on mobile devices are going up, and mobile screens have room for only a limited number of characters. Aim for a concise subject line of no more than 41 characters or seven words. That’s shorter than the average 70 characters for desktop platforms with Gmail or Outlook, making your email stand out in people’s mobile inboxes.

Step 2: Share the when and where

Even if the meeting details are included in the calendar invite, list them in the body of your email message. Your invitation letter should always answer three questions:

1. When is the meeting?

Give the meeting date and time. Make sure you choose a time that’s likely to be convenient. Avoid scheduling the meeting for the very beginning or end of the day, especially if the meeting is likely to run long. And be sure to account for differing time zones for virtual meeting attendees.

2. How long will it run?

People have packed schedules, and back-to-back meetings are common, especially when those meetings are online and don’t require travel time. Be clear about when the meeting will end. If you have to estimate, err on the side of a later end time — most people would rather get out early than be kept late.

3. Where will it take place?

If the meeting is online, tell people how they can get the link. If it’s in person, provide the address (and the meeting room, if needed), unless all invitees know the meeting location.

Step 3: Explain the purpose

Start the body of your email by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting. Even if it’s a required staff meeting or recurring meeting, people will have greater buy-in and arrive with a better mindset if they know what you’ll be discussing. 

A sentence or two is usually enough, even for an in-depth meeting. Shorter meetings call for an even briefer explanation. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Please join us on Friday, January 6, from 4–5 p.m. to discuss the next phase of the Hansen project.

  • This will be our year-end meeting, so we'll discuss our annual growth and plans for the next fiscal year.

Step 4: Share the meeting agenda

Whenever possible, expand on the purpose of the meeting with a few talking points about the agenda. You don’t have to go into great depth, but do mention the topics you plan to discuss. You can structure this section as bullets, or if you’re listing only a few items, write it out in sentence form. For example:

“We’ll be discussing bonus structures for next year, recognizing goal achievers for this quarter, and going over the needs of our top clients.”

For more formal meetings or in-depth discussions, you may want to add the agenda as an attachment. Attachments are helpful when attendees need to use the agenda to prepare or if they need to refer to the agenda during the meeting. 

Step 5: Ask for an RSVP

One reason why you send a meeting invitation email in the first place is to get an attendee count. Most people won’t RSVP without a prompt, so be sure to request it. Include a response deadline, even if you don’t have a firm must-know date in mind. This helps you avoid receiving all replies to your meeting email at the last minute.

Be clear about how you want people to reply. Include an email address or, better yet, offer a Calendly link that people can use to add themselves to the meeting without having to write an RSVP. It makes scheduling meetings and follow-ups much easier and more convenient for you and your attendees — just check out this brief video.

 

Step 6: Add a professional email signature and branding

These are the finishing touches. You’ve invited people to the meeting, told them when and where it will happen, and touched on what you’re going to discuss. End strong with a professional email signature.

Unless you’re communicating only with your team members, include your full name, position, and company name (which should be linked to your company’s website — it’s a great way to connect interested people with information about your company). If you have any scheduling links, try to direct them to branded pages for a seamless brand experience.

3 tips for writing effective meeting email invitations

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. As you create your meeting email invitation, incorporate these writing tips to get the best response rates possible.

1. Match the tone to the purpose

An email invitation to a monthly staff meeting should read differently than an invitation to an annual business meeting for shareholders. Think about who your recipients are and how formal the meeting is, and then phrase the invitation letter accordingly. Use the examples below as guides.

2. Personalize your email invitation

Whenever possible, add the recipient’s name to the greeting for a personal touch and remember, this isn't a reminder email. You might also decide to add a friendly opener, especially if you’re communicating with team members, clients, or other people you know. For example:

  • Thank you all for your great work on this project.

  • We hope you’ve had a wonderful year, and we thank you for making us a part of it.

3. Keep the meeting email brief

People appreciate not having to spend too much time on email. Cover the basics as described above, then sign off.

Meeting invitation email examples

Now that you understand the basic structure and style of a meeting invitation email, you’re ready to see how it looks in its final form. You’ll find formal and informal versions below, both of which you can adapt to suit your needs.

Example 1: Formal meeting invitation

This invitation to an annual business meeting tells shareholders what they need to know to prepare for and join a virtual meeting.


From: Connor Murphy

Subject: Happy Home Insurance upcoming AGM

Dear shareholders, 

As the time for Happy Home Insurance’s annual general meeting approaches, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing support. We hope you will attend this year’s meeting, which we have scheduled for March 3, 2022, at 11 a.m. on Zoom. You’ll find the link here. 

We’ve attached a meeting agenda to this email so you know what to expect. The meeting will cover the following key topics:

  • Elections to fill this year’s board openings

  • Votes on shareholder proposals

  • Annual financial reports

  • New developments

We expect the meeting will last about 2.5 hours. Please let us know if you can attend by clicking this link by February 15, as we need a quorum to hold the meeting as scheduled.

Thank you for your time, and we hope to see you on March 3.

Kind regards, 

Connor Murphy

Business Development Manager

Yoyodyne, Inc.


Example 2: Informal email invitation

This more casual meeting invitation is geared more toward small teams or one-on-ones.


From: Alana Beck

Subject: Social Influencer project kick-off meeting, Friday 1.29

Hi team,

I’m happy to welcome you all to our department’s social media outreach project. We’ve got a great team set up, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.

Please join me on Friday, January 29, for a kick-off meeting at 10 a.m. We’ll meet in the third-floor conference room for about two hours. Water and light refreshments will be provided.

Come prepared with any questions you have about the project. We’ll discuss overall strategy, goals, and timelines, and everyone will receive their initial assignments.

So that we have an accurate headcount, please use this Calendly link and accept your invitation to the meeting. I scheduled the meeting based on everyone’s availability in Calendly, but if anything has changed, let me know by Wednesday at the latest. 

Can’t wait to get this project off the ground!

Thank you all,

Alana

Public Relations Manager


Meeting invitation templates

If you’re not sure how to adapt the  examples above to suit your needs, don’t worry. Fill in one of these two templates — formal or informal — with the details of your meeting, and you’re good to go. 

Invitation 1: Formal email template

If you’re planning a more formal business meeting, especially one that involves invitees whom you don’t know well, this meeting request template will help.


Hello [invitee group],

I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing to invite you to a meeting on [day and date] at [time] to discuss [topic]. 

The meeting will take place at/on [location/videoconference platform] and will last about [number] hours. An agenda for the meeting is attached. The most important topics for discussion include:

  • [meeting agenda item 1]

  • [meeting agenda item 2]

  • [meeting agenda item 3]

Please click this link to confirm whether you will attend. We ask that you reply no later than [date and time] so we can plan effectively. 

Regards,

[Your name]

[Your role and contact info]

[Company name]


Invitation 2: Informal email template

For less formal meetings and more familiar attendees, try this email template:


Hi [recipient],

I hope you’re doing well. It’s time for us to meet to discuss [topic]. I looked at everyone’s availability on Calendly, and it looks like [date] at [time] will work best for everyone. Let’s meet at/on [location/platform]. We’ll need about [length of meeting]. In that time, we should be able to cover:

  • [topic 1]

  • [topic 2]

  • [topic 3]

Please use this link to let me know whether you’ll be able to make it. I look forward to seeing you all.

Kind regards,

[your name]

[Your role and contact info]


How to send a meeting invitation email

You have two options for sending your meeting email invitation:

1. In the body of a message

This works for most invites. You can write the message using your business email server, or if you’d rather do some more advanced formatting (and reporting), try an email marketing service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. This makes it easy for people to go back and find any related links or agenda attachments. 

Of course, if you use Calendly for scheduling, the meeting will automatically copy to attendees' linked calendars (such as Google Calendar), in which case they won't have to go back and look for an email at all.

2. As a PDF attachment

For an extra-formal touch, create a PDF invitation on company letterhead and attach it to an email. This is a popular option when inviting a large audience (such as a group of shareholders) or when some invitees prefer having a hard copy of the invitation. 

Be sure to introduce your invitation with a brief email body paragraph. That way you can include any links you need people to click on. Calendly gives you an advantage here, too. Because its integrations with Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and other platforms automatically generates videoconference details for your meeting, you'll only need to ask recipients to click once. Plus, if your invitees connect their calendars to Calendly, those details will automatically copy over as event details.

Set yourself up for more successful meeting invitation emails

No matter how you send your meeting invitation email or how you phrase the different sections, your goal is the same: to encourage people to RSVP “yes.” With these best practices and using  Calendly as a scheduling tool that simplifies booking, you're set up for success. A well-crafted invitation means a successful meeting and more opportunities to grow your business.

Ready to make your scheduling process more efficient with Calendly? Sign up for free today.

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Thad Thompson biography
Thad Thompson

Thad is a Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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